During the Winter of 2014, my running had become so sluggish that I was losing enthusiasm to get out on the road. I was having to stop and walk on my runs, was short of breath just walking around, and traded naps for nights out with friends. But, when I couldn't even run to the end of my street without being completely spent I figured it was time to see my doctor.
After numerous trips to the doctor and several lab tests it was discovered that I was severely anemic. My doctor could not understand how I was able to stand up let alone run. She prescribed rest (a.k.a. no physical activity at all) or I risked needing a blood transfusion.
Upon seeing a hematologist this past Fall it was determined that I am a carrier for Hemochromatosis. The gene defect inhibits the amount of iron absorbed from food. What most people don’t know is that Hereditary Hemochromatosis is the most common single-gene disease in Western populations, affecting 1 out of every 200-300 people. Yet it is almost unheard of by the general public, and many health professionals are insufficiently aware of it. Because the disorder can cause diabetes via damage to the pancreas, it is something that deserves greater recognition in the American Diabetes Association community.
When the opportunity arose to run for the Joslin Diabetes Center Marathon Team I knew I couldn't say no. Team Joslin is a group of generous and dedicated individuals who participate in athletic events to raise funds for Joslin Diabetes Center. Team Joslin participants embody two essential elements in the fight against diabetes, both the spirit of giving and maintaining an active lifestyle. The funds raised through these events contribute to Joslin’s capacity to prevent, treat and cure diabetes through cutting-edge research, comprehensive patient care and pioneering education programs.
Joslin Diabetes Center, based in Boston, Massachusetts, undertakes diabetes research, clinical care, education and health and wellness programs on a global scale. Joslin is dedicated to ensuring that people with diabetes live long, healthy lives and offers real progress in preventing and curing diabetes. Joslin is an independent, nonprofit institution affiliated with Harvard Medical School, and is recognized worldwide for driving innovative solutions in diabetes prevention, research, education, and care.
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